Hacked Gadgets Forum

December 31, 2005

Computer controlled RC helicopter

at 9:23 pm. Filed under Complex Hacks, Toy Hacks

Eliot Phillips of Hackaday writes: “RC helicopters have become so cheap that they’re now a really attractive robotics platform. This guide gives a jumping off point for starting your own project. It covers how to integrate a Gumstix embedded linux system into the helicopter. Code is provided so that you can hook up a usb controller to your laptop and control the helicopter over Bluetooth. All you need to do after that is build some cool controls, hook up a speaker and start streaming Ride of the Valkyries.”


Pascal Brisset has detailed instructions including parts lists, software and hardware setup. Here is what Pascal says about his helicopter: “RC model helicopter prices have reached a point where all sorts of challenging (i.e. crash-prone) robotics projects become affordable. This document explains how to build a 300 g, 3D-capable helicopter with embedded Linux and Bluetooth datalink for less than 500 EUR.

As a proof of concept, we provide software which allows the helicopter to be remotely controlled over Bluetooth with a PC joystick. Future work will focus on the integration of sensors (IMU, altitude, magnetic compas, GPS, camera) and flight control software (either third-party or dedicated).”


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20 Responses to “Computer controlled RC helicopter”

  1. julius Says:

    pero puede ser mandado por control de xbox. y si no, por que no usar mando de television, para medir el helicoptero

  2. Hexypoo Says:

    Yah, the fact that they used an xbox controller for this made it like a million times kewler.

  3. Joe90 Says:

    I’ve seen Bluetooth controlled mini R/C cars using
    your mobile phone but I hope someone build a mini
    Helicopter that’s controlled by a mobile phone,
    would be cool for the office.
    Checkout my new UK site of RC Helicopters, Cars and
    Boats: http://www.rcgifts.co.uk I have a great deal on a
    R/C Crash car, only £19.99, I haven’t even seen
    anything like this in the shops, here’s the link:

  4. zero Says:

    french powaa

  5. chris k Says:

    great post and cool uses for rcs. the rcs i sell are great candidates for these kinds of projects because you arent paying for a brand name but get comparable quality.

  6. Harry Says:

    can i have a petrol or liquid fuel consuming sppy helecopter

  7. Coe Sectionb Says:

    our project is “Computer controlled RC helicopter” which is the same as what you did, our project should be wireless and we are required to use parallel port. Its all about computer interfacing.
    can you teach me how to interfaced the remote control using parallel port and controlling the helicopter via GUI in my Visual Basic program. please help me…
    i need some procedure.

  8. Justin Says:

    Sweet stuff. Technology is amazing!

  9. Jorge Says:

    Hi everyone
    I am trying to create a RC Helicopter able to work as a monitoring tool to look for invasive species plants in remote areas of the Galapagos Islands. Ideally the helicopter will be able to fly a least for 30 minutes and be controlled at the distance of 500 to 1000 m, it has to include a GPS to guide the monitoring route and a transmitter camera to transfer the imagines of the vegetation.
    I am new in this field and so any suggestion about types of helicopter, brands and any additional technical information will be very useful. We are looking for the most economical but effective material which can be able to helps us to reduce costs.
    Any suggestion?

  10. RCHeli Says:

    interesting article…

  11. marain Says:

    Dear Lady/Sir,

    Nice to get your information from the Internet!

    This is Marian from Hong Kong Billowy Power Industrial Co., Ltd which is professional in manufacturing of R/C Li-Po and NiMh batteries with Continuous Discharge Current from 3C up to 35C. Which are widely used in RC Models/Helicopter/Airplane/Boats/Cars, RC Toys…etc.

    If any items that you are interested, please do not hesitate to contact me! Hope we can have this chance to establish our mutual benefit business relationship! Looking forward to your further inquiry!

    Thanks and best regard!


    Hong Kong Billowy Power Industrial Co., Ltd.
    HK Head office: FLAT C, 23/F, LUCKY PLAZA, 315-321 LOCKHART ROAD,
    Tel:00852-3065 8285
    Fax:00852-3610 2681
    Email: marian@billowy-battery.com
    MSN: marianliao@hotmail.com

  12. rakeshdonadkar Says:

    please give me description about how to control rc helicopter with a laptop, please also give me circuit details of if.

  13. Alan Parekh Says:

    Hi rakeshdonadkar,

    Looks like the main site has gone away…

  14. coolwaterjinx Says:


    could i have a copy of your latest yet simple computer controlled rc car


  15. scale model aircraft Says:

    This looks rad. I need to find time to build some stuff like this

  16. sahil Says:

    please send me the detail of the computer controlled rc helicopter with circuit detail.

  17. Alan Parekh Says:

    Hi Sahil,

    There is a link within the article.

  18. sahil Says:

    @ Alan
    I am not able to access the link and would be grateful if you could mail me the details to my e-mail address.

  19. Stu Says:

    I cant access the files either. Can some email the details to marks_stewart@hotmail.co.uk please as Im very eager to do this.

  20. Alan Parekh Says:

    Looks like this is his new home page.

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